Recap: ‘Agent Carter’ – Smashing through ‘The Iron Ceiling’ like it aint’ nothing

02.04.15 3 years ago

Marvel Entertainment

Peggy Carter has been going through a bit of a rough patch. The love of her life died, she”s working with men who have more respect for a good bourbon than for her, and in a final blow, the two men she thought weren”t like the rest of them turned out to be deceiving her.

Peggy Carter was due for a win and during last night”s “The Iron Ceiling” she finally got one.

Competency is the most powerful, – and rarest – superpower. But Agent Carter has it spades. She”ll kick ass and take names, she”ll repurpose sexism to suit her needs, and she”ll translate Evil Typewriter™ code in no time flat, because she”s surrounded by idiots who already forgot the enemy is Russia.

And what does she get for her trouble? Agent Thompson trying to hamstring her. Unfortunately for him Peggy plays her trump card, the 107th division. It buys her a ticket on the mission because Dooley is an ass, not an idiot. His mansplaining explanation of the Catch-22 of sending a woman to do “a man's job” will sound eerily familiar to any woman who has ever lived.

But once Dugan, Sam, and the rest of the Howling Commandos got on the scene, I spent the remainder of the episode wishing Peggy would ditch the SSR in favor of working with a group of people who respect and trust her. The difference is night and day. Whereas Agent Carter”s co-workers fight her at every turn, the Commandos and Peggy are a well-oiled machine. She knows how they think, and they trust her to take point on entry to the facility. Dugan knows she”s more than capable of saving herself – and Agent Thompson – in the final firefight.

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After four episodes of oppressive misogyny bubbling under (and over) the surface, it was a breath of fresh air AND slap in the face at exactly how poorly the SSR is utilizing an agent who has years of field experience.

With all my focus being on how a good a character study “Agent Carter” is, there hasn”t been much discussion about the actual mystery tying this season together. With only three episodes left, the murky waters about Howard Stark and his missing inventions is getting more opaque, not less. What started as a 1946 “Italian Job” has spiraled into a conspiracy involving a WWII Russian massacre no one will take credit for, with Mr. Stark smack in the middle, throwing punches.

Oh, and the Red Room Academy. For those of you not in the know, Dottie and Black Widow are graduates of the same elite boarding school. Well, “school” might be a loose term for taking orphaned Russian girls and molding them into obedient killing machines…apparently via bootleg Disney movies and super serious recess games. 

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During Peggy & Co. field trip to Russia, they encounter one of the girls who is very, very good for her age. The little blonde uses advanced emotional manipulation to stab her way to freedom, and makes me question exactly how old Natasha Romanoff might be. After all, little blondes can grow up to be little brunettes who dye their hair red.

Maybe Black Widow and Captain America have more in common than he realizes…

Odds & Ends

• I will always love that Peggy keeps a picture of pre-Captain America Steve. She loved the man, not the superhero.

• Can”t decide if Dottie sleeps in handcuffs as a BDSM security blanket, or if the girls are a danger in their sleep./p>

• On the one hand, I appreciate any show that fleshes out the inner lives of “villains.” On the other hand, stop humanizing Agent Thompson! Just let me hate him.

• Jarvis tried to stop using his tell when he lied to Dooley…he can be taught!

• In the kerfluffle at the Academy, we don”t stop to question where the other girls are. Why is the facility abandoned save the one child?

• I kind of hope Dugan”s nickname of Miss Union Jack sticks, if only because he”s a huge dork for thinking of it.

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